World Conference on Youth (pt. 1)

IYTF 2013

In 2011 the United Nations celebrated the International Year of Youth, which was themed ‘dialogue and mutual understanding’ and focused on the role of young people in the UN decision making process and the important role young people play in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

As the 2011 Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations, I joined 31 youth representatives from 22 nations in New York to represent young people at the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. During my time I was negotiator on the Resolution focused on ‘Policies and programs involving youth’ (A/RES/66/121) which I worked with representatives from Sri Lanka to support them to host in 2014 a World Conference on Youth.

Below is the result of hard work from the Sri Lankan Government and youth advocates, its also an indication of the hard work still to come in the lead-up to May 2014.

Welcoming the initiative of the Government of Sri Lanka to host in 2014 a world conference on youth in Colombo, with a focus on the participation and involvement of youth in achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.”

IYTF Planning

I was recently appointed with 19 others to the International Youth Taskforce for the World Conference on Youth in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Taskforce is made up of 10 Sri Lankan members and 9 International members from the US, Nepal, Burma, Germany, China, Kenya, UK and Argentina

Together, with youth advisors and the Government of Sri Lanka, we are tasked to develop and deliver the 2014 World Conference on Youth in May 2014. The ambitious conference is the first World Conference on Youth held in Asia and will bring together 1500 delegates, including; young people, government representatives and representatives from UN Agencies, corporate leaders and academics from across the globe.

Over the coming months we will be engaging UN agencies, governments and NGO’s to support the World Conference on Youth to be UN recognised as a thematic inter-governmental meeting on post 2015 goals with youth cross-cutting the following identified 12 thematic areas:

  • Education
  • Employment
  • Hunger/Poverty
  • Health
  • Environment
  • Gender
  • Conflict/Violence
  • Good Governance
  • Equality
  • Globalisation
  • MARP (most at risk people)
  • Disaster/Reconstruction

The 2014 World Conference on Youth is the result of the growing momentum and focus, globally on youth. This momentum has been building from the adoption of the World Program of Action for Youth, the 2005 World Youth Conference in Mexico, 2010/11 International Year of Youth and the UN High Level Meeting on Youth. The World Conference on Youth is the next major step for young people globally and it is with this understanding the International Youth Task Force will spend the next 6months driving this agenda at CHOGM, 68th UN General Assembly, ECOSOC and Secretary- General Ban Ki-Moon’s Report in March 2014.

You can play a significant role in the youth agenda in the post-2015 Development and Sustainable Goals! Complete a MY World Survey!

Over 1 million people globally have completed the MY World Survey – making it the largest global survey ever conducted but there are 1.8 Billion young people globally – have your voice heard – you don’t have to be ‘youth’ to complete!

A huge thanks to the IYTF Members, the Government of Sri Lanka and special advisors.

PS: More to come as the World Conference on Youth unfolds…